It is impossible to give you a list of all London cinemas and theatres, but these are the venues I know and like!
BFI: Belvedere Road, South Bank, SE1 8XT.
The BFI is THE British Film Institute. The BFI hosts many film festivals as the London Film Festival, has regular film screenings, but also organises special talks, Q&As and Sonic Cinema events. Explore the BFI National Archive for free in the Mediatheque! Or do your media research in the BFI Reuben Library.
BFI IMAX: 1 Charlie Chaplin Walk, SE1 8XR.
Supersize cinema spectacles at BFI IMAX! Tickets don’t come cheap, but you will get a comfortable seat in return and will be fully absorbed by the film on a gigantic screen and fantastic surround sound.
Genesis Cinema: 93 – 95 Mile End Road, E1 4UJ.
My favourite London cinema and second home! This place is so special to me, that I even had my wedding reception there. Genesis is an independent cinema and set in a charming building, which has previously been a music hall and also theatre where Charlie Chaplin even performed! Have a chat with the friendly staff, enjoy a freshly brewed cup of coffee with a hipster pastry crodough in the foyer downstairs or go wild and have a cocktail in the bar upstairs. Oh, and perhaps watch a film while you’re there anyway. Ticket prices are incredibly low and almost for free on Wacky Wednesdays! And if you want to treat yourself on a luxurious cinema seat with complimentary blanket, then try to book a seat in Studio 5! You might not want to see a film in another screen ever again afterwards.
Hackney Picturehouse: 270 Mare Street, E8 1HE.
4-screen cinema with restaurant, bars and music events. Relatively new cinema, opened in autumn of 2011. Situated in trendy Hackney opposite of Hackney Empire which programs music, theatre, opera, comedy and dance events. Buy your cheap tickets for Hackney Picturehouse screenings on Bargain Mondays.
Prince Charles Cinema: 7 Leicester Place, WC2H 7BY.
Cult cinema in the heart of Soho. Screens recent films, but also classic cult film. Famous for its sing-a-long cinema events and marathon screenings of film and TV series.
Rich Mix: 35-47 Bethnal Green Rd, E1 6LA.
Located in the heart of Shoreditch and Bethnal Green, Rich Mix is a 3-screen cinema, but also offers live music, dance, theatre, comedy and spoken word events. The building used to be a garment factory before it opened as a cinema and cross-arts centre. Buy cinema tickets for only a few pounds on Mondays and Tuesdays if you live in Tower Hamlets and have an Idea Store library card.
National Theatre: South Bank, SE1 9PX.
One of the UK’s most prominent publicly funded theatre companies.
The Old Vic: The Cut, SE1 8NB.
The Old Vic is one of the best known and best loved theatres in the world. This theatre has had many famous film and theatre actors on stage.
Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre: 21 New Globe Walk, Bankside, SE1 9DT.
The reconstructed Globe stands almost at the exact place of the original theatre where Shakespeare performed some of his greatest plays. As the theatre has an open roof, theatre season at Globe Theatre runs from April till October. Book a comfortable seat beforehand or book a standing ticket for just a few pounds. I also recommend going on a tour on the theatre to learn about how visitors in the past experienced plays at the original theatre. Don’t miss the permanent exhibition on Shakespeare and Globe Theatre either!
Sam Wanamaker Playhouse: 21 New Globe Walk, Bankside, SE1 9DT.
In January 2014 The Globe Theatre’s sister opens her doors. The theatre is named after American actor and director Sam Wanamaker whose initiated the rebuilding of Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre. The first and foremost task of the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse is to explore the plays from Shakespeare’s period written specifically for indoor theatres. Plays are on from October tip April, exactly the period when Globe Theatre closes its doors for winter.